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For Immediate Release

May 31, 2023

Mapping from Source to Sea to Stem the Flow of Marine Plastic

OpenOceans Global White Paper Addresses the Plastic Supply Chain

San Diego, CA. OpenOceans Global today announced the publication of a white paper designed to be a useful resource to the United Nations International Plastic Treaty negotiations currently underway in Paris, France. The white paper recognizes the need to address the ocean plastic crisis geographically by determining and mapping the pathways by which plastic reaches the ocean.

“75% of ocean plastic is actually on a beach or other shoreline, not in the deep ocean, as is commonly believed,” said Carl Nettleton, OpenOceans Global founder and president. “If plastic is on a shoreline, it can be found. If it can be found, the chances are good that the pathway by which it arrived at the beach can be identified, and a solution implemented to stem the flow.”

In general terms, there are only four ways plastic can reach the ocean:

  1. Via rivers, the source of most ocean plastic,

  2. Local litter, blown or washed into the ocean,

  3. Fishing gear or other maritime operations,

  4. Any or all of the above can be brought from a distant shoreline by ocean currents.

With this knowledge, people in local communities around the world can start asking how to stop the flow of plastic to their shorelines.

“There is great work being done by locals to keep plastic from reaching the ocean,” Nettleton said. “In Indonesia, Sungai Watch is using river intervention techniques in 100 rivers to keep plastic from reaching the ocean. In Manila, the Philippines, 100 river warriors work every day to clean up the Pasig River, the most plastic-polluting river in the world. And in locations around the world, the Ocean Cleanup is testing its River Interceptor technology.”

OpenOceans Global believes solutions like these and many more can be shared and implemented in comparable settings globally if international resources and funding are made available to complement local, regional, and national resources.

The white paper can be found at the link below.

The Ocean Plastic Crisis – Mapping Source to Sea, Source Identification as a Solution

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Caption: Coastlines like this one at Kuta Beach in Bali, Indonesia, can be found around the world. OpenOceans Global is seeking to locate these plastic-fouled coastlines to document the scope of the ocean plastic crisis. Image credit: Shutterstock/Maxim Blinkov



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